Sunday, May 30, 2010

Proposing a Happy Hollows Field Trip!

Hello Vintage Moms!

I would like to propose an "end of the school year" field trip to Happy Hollows in San Jose. Our family has never been there, and it seems like a good time to go. If we get 14 or more people, we can get a very nice group discount ($8 per ticket instead of $12). My little family can account for 4 of these--anyone else want to join us?

Please email me or let me know in the comment here that you are interested, and then we can set up a date. I think it should be soon, before the school kids get out, but will be very flexible. : )


Thursday, May 20, 2010

From my inbox this morning:
The following event this Saturday is put together by homeschooling middle school students and will feature a great rummage sale with outstanding books and educational materials, a mini- carnival complete with a petting zoo, live music, games, raffle, baked goods and refreshing lemonade.
Every dollar collected feeds SIX kids!

Lemon-Aid is a fundraiser for “Doctors Without Borders”
May 22, 10:00am–3:00pm
Circle Church, 111 Errett Circle, Santa Cruz

Here is the inspiring history of this event:
Former homeschooling student, Franziska Monahan, created Lemon-Aid up in San Lorenzo Valley 10 years ago.
She set up a card table and made a pitcher of lemonade and within a few hours of work earned $20!
Her parents felt she needed to pick a charity and donate the proceeds. She donated all of her earnings to “The Heifer Project,” a charity that provides livestock to people in need worldwide. Her $20 was enough to buy a flock of chickens. This charitable cause inspired young Franny to create Lemon-Aid complete with a mini-carnival, petting zoo, and awesome rummage sale.
After 10 years and 10 Lemon-Aid fundraisers up in San Lorenzo Valley, Franny brought Lemon-Aid to Santa Cruz.

Last year, AFE middle schoolers held Lemon-Aid downtown Santa Cruz and raised $1267 for Doctors without Borders!
This year, the event will take place this Saturday May 22, from 10:00am–3:00pm at the Circle Church.

If you have any questions about this event please contact Hannah A-Y, 427-3825 or


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

CHEA 27th Annual Homeschool Convention

CHEA ~ Christian Home Educators Association of California

This is an event we are thinking about attending. It offers a Children's convention while the parents attend seminars and workshops. I'm sure the event will offer more than I want or need to put into my brain, but I'm sure it will be very encouraging! It will be in Pasadena this year, which is located 50 minutes from the Magical Kingdom (not Heaven).

July 16th, 17th & 18th
Check out the prices and other information on the site.


Science website and kits

Just got this email from my E.S.:

Hi All,
This is a science curriculum that I learned about last night. It is Biblically based, and recommended by an atheist! I thought you might want to look at the website.

The Guide can't be purchased with OG funds, but the books and kits can be.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

handwriting link

here's a neat link that helps with beginning printers: You can make your own handwriting worksheets with just the words you want, or ones that you are teaching at the time. It also prints out the lines and everything. You can choose from basic printing or cursive. Hope this might be fun for some of you!! Love you, Ali

Monday, May 17, 2010


My E.S. just sent this to me:


1. Tilden Regional Park Botanic Garden, Nature Study Area & Little Farm, Berkeley

2. Museum of Children's Art, Oakland

3. Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto

4. Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley

5. Nasa Ames Research Center, Mountain View

6. Lick Observatory, Mt. Hamilton

7. Jelly Belly Factory Tour, Fairfield

8. Cable Car Museum, San Francisco

9. Chinese Cultural Center Gallery, San Francisco

10. Museo ItaloAmericano, San Francisco

11. San Francisco Fire Department Museum, San Francisco

12. Cantor Arts Center, Stanford

13. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, Berkeley

14. San Francisco Botanical Garden


1. Oakland Museum of California— (not including special exhibitions)

2. Asian Art Museum, San Francisco


1. De Young Museum, San Francisco (except special exhibitions)

2. Legion Of Honor, San Francisco (except special exhibitions)

3. Cartoon Art Museum, San Francisco ("pay what you wish" day)

4. Museum of Craft & Folk Art (Yerba Buena), San Francisco in 2008

5. Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco

6. Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

7. Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), San Francisco hours.asp


1. San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco—For residents of San Francisco only

2. Exploratorium, San Francisco

3. Bay Area Discovery Museum, Sausalito 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


1. California Academy of Sciences & Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco (first come, first served) http://www.calacade


1. Burlingame Pez Museum, Burlingame

2. Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive


1. Tilden Park Steam Train ($1.75) or Merry-Go-Round ($1)

2. Los Gatos Billy Jones Railroad Train or Carousel ($2)

3. Mrs. Grossman’s Sticker Factory and Museum Tour ($3)

4. Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose SJ— Open Access Policy

5. Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose— Open Door Policy

6. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey County Public libraries has a "book" that residents of Monterey County can check out for free admission for up to 6 people.

7. A List of Free Things to Do in San Jose

8. 25 Sacramento Museums that are Free or Nominal Fee

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fascinating Math program! Please read!

Lisa C. here. I thought you all might enjoy this little conversation from one of my homeschool egroups:

So as we are ending the "school year," I am panicking a little, because my daughter Aliya is really behind on her math. She's in first grade and happy to memorize her math facts, but the conceptualization of what she's doing is only now arising. Only now is she able to figure out a problem she doesn't know by using numbers she does know and figuring out from there. It took her a long time. We'll work through the summer to help her get down the addition and subtraction facts to catch her up to first grade.

But I am really worried about second grade math for next year. For borrowing and carrying, she'll need to understand place value, and conceptually, she just doesn't get it. Most first graders have a pretty good understanding of place value, and I've tried so many different ways to teach her, but it's just not getting through. I just gave her a calendar so she can keep track of her busy social life :) and the columns for the days of the week are a stretch. The idea of numbers in columns (place value) is really difficult for her.

I like my kids to be --reasonably-- grade level. I'm not very strict about it, and I think we'll keep on homeschooling, but I know things happen, and for my own peace of mind, I want them to at least approximate their grade level.

So do I wait, perhaps a year if necessary, for that "aha!" moment before moving on, allowing her to get farther and farther behind? Testing the faith that I'm not sure I possess in copious quantities?

Or am I not teaching her in the right way? Do I forge ahead, teaching her the pieces in more clear ways, hoping she'll put it together eventually? Math is not my expertise, so maybe I just need to explore other curriculums and ways of teaching it?

I've heard of the "aha!" moments for late readers, who all of a sudden bloom into reading at 9 or 10, but never for math...

Please let me know your anything at all that comes to you!


Rena, both of my children are very bad at computation. I must have tried (and bought) six different curricula. Two things really helped:

1. Kumon tutoring. The Kumon worksheets only have about 6 problems to a page and the materials are really non-threatening. I see they have a center on Cedar street--they did help my daughter when she was in 2nd grade.

2. Jump Math, a Canadian program. It's really great, really different, and had I known about it earlier I may have done this with my daughter from the beginning. I'm a real fan of JUMP'S down to earth approach--kids are taught how to count with their fingers, for instance. People have counted on fingers for a million years, I started to realize. Anyway they have a lot of sample material online that you can download and try, at this website:

Here is the page with the files to download:

Here is the page where you can download second grade samples:

And here is an article about the developer of JUMP:



I followed the links, and the math approach sounds fantastic! In fact, before you look at the websites about JUMP, I highly recommend you start with the article about the founder, which is listed last.

And as a follow-up to that conversation, you might be interested in this article, which was referenced in that last article.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Next Old School Monday-NEXT week!

Hello moms!

Lisa C. here. Normally we have OSM the 4th Monday of every month, but this month because of the awesome free science show that day, we are moving OSM to the third Monday--which means next week on Monday the 17th of May. Sound good?

And it is time for SHOW AND TELL circle time! So ask your child what he/she might like to bring to show us all. (And you can use this as incentive to finally finish some project that has been looming over your head ; )

I will have some fun little lessons, and will also have books from the Author's Fair to give back to Laura and Becky--and you can all have back your book pages from the Big Book of Important People in American History. Which was SO FUN to watch the kids share at the Author's Fair!

So please put the date on your calendars, and come with your Monday Boxes ready for some Old School learning fun!

: )

Monday, May 10, 2010

Grammar links

From the Ocean Grove newsletter:

Have you ever wished you could have your child brush up on a grammar rule that he/she may have forgotten, but you don’t want to purchase an
entire grammar program? Then check out these websites:

-Guide to Grammar and Writing,

-Grammar Slammer, , provides instruction and examples for practically every aspect of grammar. Over 440 free grammar lessons, covering parts of speech, to prepositional phrases to, noun clauses and verb participles.

-Daily Grammar,

book clubs for kids--and free stuff!

Lisa C. here. I heard through the grapevine about two book clubs your kids might enjoy being a part of:

1. Kids can read 10 books and get a free book from Borders:

2. another mom said that kids can also read five books and go to fresh choice restaurant for free. Details at the central branch library.

Sounds great to me!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

old, old film of SF

From my inbox/homeschool news group:

Hi -- My daughter and I just watched this -- it's a fascinating view of pre-quake SF. Those people didn't have any traffic rules! Watch for the woman who has to grab her skirts and run so as not to be mowed down by a Model T!


This is a real treasure! "You are there" for a cable car ride in San
Francisco . This film was "lost" for many years. It was the first 35 mm film ever. It was taken by camera mounted on the front of a cable car. The number of automobiles is staggering for 1906. Absolutely amazing! The clock tower at the end of Market Street at the Embarcadero wharf is still there. How many "street cleaning" people were employed to pick up after the horses? Who knows! Talk about going green.

Great historical film! Watch the scampering as "Joe Public" races away from autos, horses, cable cars and bicycles and the willy-nilly traffic pattern of visible autos, trucks, horse drawn carriages and bikes on Market Street.

This film, originally thought to be from 1905 until David Kiehn with the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum figured out exactly when it was shot. From New York trade papers announcing the film showing to the wet streets from recent heavy rainfall & shadows indicating time of year & actual weather and conditions on historical record, even when the cars were registered (he even knows who owned them and when the plates were issued!).

It was filmed only four days before the Great California Earthquake of April 18th 1906 and shipped by train to NY for processing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Heads up, everyone--start thinking now!

Also from my inbox:

We are all about getting young people excited about the U.S. Constitution. We want to bring it to life! Most students and children in America have very little exposure with regard to the Constitution - we want to change that!

This year our focus is a contest called "We The People 9.17" it is centered around Constitution day which is Sept. 17th. We are looking for kids from elementary school to high school to enter into the contest - the sooner the better! (The contest includes art, poem, written essay, or public service message). It is open to very young children on up.

All of the contest details are on the site - down on the right hand side of the home page click on (We The People 9.17 Contest)

We want as many kids to enter as possible. Final entries need to come in by July 4th 2010 and the winners in each category will be announced on Sept. 17th 2010 (Constitution Day)! Kids can enter today by going online and submitting the appropriate entry forms.

The link is:


Vintage Homeschool Kids are so. going. to do. this.

you have been forewarned.

Lisa C.

FYI: website for FREE field trips

Here is something else that got passed my way, a new site that collects information about free field trips. I am not sure how helpful it will be in our area (there were only 2 activities within 30 miles of Aptos), but it could be a great tool for checking out possible field trips around the state, AND since they are free field trips, it does not hurt to bookmark this site and check every now and then.

I am a sucker for FREE! ; )

FYI: Field Trip to Johnson Farm

This is an all-area field trip, not one specific to Ocean Grove or Vintage Homeschool Days. But it sounds like fun!

(Hope you all don't mind the influx of emails--can you tell I am cleaning out my inbox today? : )

Lisa C.


Date: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Time: 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM. Please arrive by 11:30 AM
Location: Johnson's Farm, 16385 Two Bar Road, Boulder Creek
Cost: $6.00 per each child and also for each adult. Anyone 2 and over attending is $6.00

Join Farmer Rob at Johnson's Farm to help with the Spring Planting on Tuesday, May 25, 2010. Scheduled tour is from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM. We are welcome to bring lunches and have lunch on the grounds after the tour.

It’s spring planting time at the farm! Farm visitors are put to "work" helping plow the fields and plant the crops. Children will learn the life cycles of plants, dig in newly plowed soil and help plant the corn patch. Kids will get their hands dirty and get to tell their family that they planted "Farmer Rob’s" corn. This is a one-hour tour that includes a hayride, a time to feed the farm animals, a lesson on planting crops and a sunflower seedling for each child to take home

If you are interested in attending or have questions, please email Kathy Newman at
Payment will be due by Tues., May 18th to Kathy Newman to confirm your space.

FREE history DVDs!

Another great tidbit from a local homeschool group email:

This History Channel is starting a 6 part series tonight based on Joy Hakim’s books, The History of US. The History Channel is giving away a DVD to schools that request a copy and this includes homeschools!

through the grapevine: SC Mountains Homeschoolers park day

Saw this post on one of the homeschool groups to which I belong:

"If you'd simply like to meet a bunch of homeschoolers, some in charters and others independent, come to the Santa Cruz Mountains Homeschoolers park day! It's every Wednesday from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. at SkyPark in Scotts Valley. (We move it to Felton Covered Bridge Park once the summer heat kicks in.). . . . There are kids of all ages, interests, abilities, and needs."

Maybe some of you knew about this--I didn't. So consider this a FYI in case any of you are interested!


One of the blogs I read shared the other day a complete how-to on making a worm wonderland--sounds like such a fun and educational project for kids. The author said it was a good rainy day project, but I get the urge to do such things outside when the weather is as beautiful as it is this week.

I am so going to do this.